Happy Wednesday everyone!
In all honesty, it’s been a weird transition week for me. Last week, I was at a job search high after going on two second interviews. This week I’ve been itching to hear back from both companies. I’m trying to take my own advice and remain patient but the uncertainty and lifestyle change of not working everyday can be a dreadful process.
On Monday, I came across a flyer for a workshop called Career Confident in SF presented by Women Sound Off and Change Cadet. The description stated it would be a workshop and panel for those interested in transitioning industries & passions. The event was only $20 and my friend Mecca (Featuring Mecca) said she would be attending as well. The topic of discussion, panel and audience seemed perfectly aligned with my current career situation.
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We’re teaming up with @changecadet and @the.wing to bring you a new event: CAREER CONFIDENT, this coming Monday 8/5! We’re keeping it real about what it takes to transition industries or departments and make your dream job reality. We’ll be hosting a panel with these amazing ladies and then breaking out into smaller groups to help you find your transferable skills & pitch your qualities. It’s a marathon, not a race and Career Confident is meant to be an open convo about the ups & downs of transitioning roles/industries. — Panelists: @meghneticfeel @_vang @shayanna.shamar @mnicolebrooks — Tickets available at womensoundoff.com/events — link in bio ✨ *Limited space 🥀
Prior to this event , I was vaguely familiar with Women Sound Off and heard about the organization from Mecca. For the past year I’ve been hesitant to participate in any “women’s empowerment” groups and events. To be completely transparent I was tired of attending events and being the only black girl. I’ve grown tired of women’s empowerment groups who preach diversity but practice the complete opposite. I’m tired of organizations who feel like the one token racially ambiguous ‘POC’ on staff is enough to fill the groups diversity quota. I’m tired of self-centered founders who could care less about communities and issues outside of their own. And last but not least I am tired of the black culture references from organizations who do not support black people. I could go on forever but with all that in mind I found myself shying away from women’s empowerment events over the past year. I always felt “too black”.
Well, I was excited and relieved when I arrived to the event with a panel full of educated hard-working black and brown women. I saw myself in every woman on panel. The stories I heard from the panel were stories I could personally relate to. It was very diverse audience (the real kind). I felt seen and heard in ways I haven’t felt since college honestly. This panel of women gave so many great gems of advice. I connected with so many other women who career wise, shared my same struggle. The relief I felt was honestly unexplainable. The only downside was there wasn’t enough time for me to connect or meet more women at the event. I really wish I could have learned more about the women in attendance but thank God for social media.
The event started at 6:30pm and we left the building around 9:15pm. To start everything off the women on the panel introduced themselves and the moderator Dr. Akilah Cadet gave an overview of the topic.
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"A lot of times as womxn we're socialized to believe that we need to go above and beyond. You need to believe in yourself and validate your own career experiences. Your job experience matters for whatever career you're trying to transition into. It's really just about presenting it and making sure that other people can see the worth, because the work and time and effort that you've put in have given you skills, and they're called transferable for a reason." – @meghneticfeel ••• Countless gems dropped by our incredible speakers last night at our panel & discussion event "Career Confident", where we centered on what it takes to make a career transition and tapped into our community for advice and guidance. Much love to @changecadet for collaborating with us to bring you this event and @the.wing for providing us with a safe space to share experiences and exchange ideas and energy. ✨✨ ••• Join us next week 8.15 for the next installment in our Creativity Is Contagious work session series, where the focus will be perfecting your elevator pitch. ⚾️ Link to RSVP in bio!
There were plenty of things that were said during the panel’s Q&A that moved me. Here are some notes I took:
Tips on becoming Career Confident
- “I feel the most confident when I see my ideas come to fruition” – Evangeline Elder, CEO of Women Sound Off
- I feel confident when I’ve done self work to be aware
- I feel confident when aligned with what I feel internally
- Remember to validate myself and what I bring
- Remain mindful of gaps- What I know, What I don’t know, & What does it take for me to learn more? (ex. take more courses, read more books, conferences, etc.)
- Spot my passions and move from ther
Passion. Purpose. Alignment
- Allow myself to be vocal about my unfulfillment
- “Speak more about what I’m interested in doing. Tell people my passions or what I would like to do. (Share and manifest) The more you talk about it the more other people will think of you if and when the opportunity arises.” – Megan Brooks, Pandora
- “I’ve worked a very different job every year of my life.” – Meghna Mahadevan, Kapor Center
I share a similar experience to Meghna and Shayanna, working at a company being the only woman on my team or the only woman of color. Shayanna shared that when she was initially hired by Google, she was marketed one job during the interview which turned out to be a completely different position once she started. I feel like that has happened at every company I’ve worked at.
I closely identified with Vang’s career journey. She shared about working for a temp agency after graduating. She went from being an executive assistant to a consultant at a construction company. After she worked for Shutterfly doing content marketing, all while starting her own blog. She share how she decided to start something of her own as an outlet for her creativity. Her advice was become an intern for yourself and create something of your own to feed what you are craving in a job.
“I outgrew my space. My purpose is heavily tied to my mental health. It is not normal to wake up every day and have anxiety about going to work. My mom would often say ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ I hate that phrase because I am a hybrid. I decided to start showing up for myself, I would tell companies in the interview ‘ You hired me for my eco system so I need to space to do that'”
The panel spoke a lot about transferable skills, two words I plan on becoming very accustomed with in this current job search. Basically knowing the language of the industry you are interested in and knowing how to translate your experience for different positions.
Side hustles, passion projects, and the power of rejection were also great key points. Speaking up for yourself and believing in yourself can take us further than we may expect. Validate your own career experiences. Present it and make other people see you’re worth. Know your story and articulate who you are. Creating an elevator pitch and not being afraid to slide in the DMs.
Humble yourself. Expect it to be hard.
“Have the confidence of a mediocre white guy!” – Dr. Akilah Cadet, Founder of Change Cadet
After the panel’s Q&A, we divided into groups with Career Confident leaders to discuss skill listing & pitch exercises. I underestimated how difficult this part would be. Listing my personal skills and writing down what I wanted in a career was something I really had to think about. The part of the workshop that really stuck with me was naming my “advisory squad”.
An advisory squad consists of:
Mentors – Similar role, field, and/or desired position internally or externally. More than one is best! Safe place to vent.
Advocate – Internal advocate to support your growth. This could be a peer, supervisor, or upper management. Can be safe place to vent.
Sponsor – Internal sponsor who will help get you to the next level, tends to be senior leadership. Vent with caution.
This workshop exercise made me realize I need to work on my pitch, make more connections and network a hell of a lot more. The event ended with everyone networking and exchanging information. I met a hand full of women I plan on keeping in touch with and even met a fellow blogger who I will be coworking with this Friday.
So happy I decided to get out of the house on a Monday evening and go to this event. I look forward to attending more in the future!
Check out the Women Sound Off event calendar to find out about their upcoming events!
Thanks for reading & we’ll talk later!